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NFL News And Notes

With a little over three months until Week 1 of the regular season, teams around the league are still working to improve their teams ahead of the season. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories from around the National Football League this week.

Star Wide Receiver Hits The Open Market

After failing to find a trade partner, the Arizona Cardinals have parted ways with three-time All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins’ contract was for $19.45 million this season, but with a larger cap hit, the Cardinals were unable to find another team that was willing to both give up assets and to take on the financial burden of his deal.

At 30-years-old, Hopkins is a top-level talent when healthy, and could appeal to a lot of teams in the open market. Unfortunately, he hasn’t played more than 10 games in either of the last two seasons, both with the Arizona Cardinals.

This last season, he played in nine games, amassing 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns. His best season ever was arguably in 2018 with the Houston Texans, when he had 115 receptions for 1,572 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Some of the teams to watch in the Hopkins sweepstake include the Chiefs, Bills, Jets, Cowboys, and Saints, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. Regardless, it will likely need to be a team that has at least a little cap flexibility as Hopkins is unlikely to take a substantial pay cut.

As for the Cardinals, they currently have the worst odds of winning the NFC West at +2400, and they are tied for the worst odds of winning the Super Bowl at +18000.

Panthers’ Tight End Undergoes Surgery

According to head coach Frank Reich, the Carolina Panthers’ new tight end Hayden Hurst underwent surgery for a sports hernia this week.

Last season, with the Cincinnati Bengals, the 29-year-old Hurst played in 13 games, finishing with 52 receptions, 414 yards, and two touchdowns. Heading into his sixth season in the NFL, this is already the fourth team that Hurst has played for, but this may be the first opportunity that he truly has as the clear starting tight end on his team.

The Panthers certainly believed that he could help their offense this offseason as they signed Hurst to a three-year deal worth just under $22 million. If he can continue to produce, he would certainly be a great weapon for rookie quarterback Bryce Young, whom they traded to move up to grab.

In a relatively weak NFC South, the Panthers have the third-best odds of winning the division at +370.

Small Trade Between Jaguars And Lions

While most of the significant trades this offseason were made prior to the draft, this week saw a minor deal between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions.

In the deal, the Lions will acquire kicker Riley Patterson for a conditional 2026 seventh-round pick.
Patterson became expendable for the Jaguars after they signed Brandon McManus. Ironically, this comes almost a year after the Lions cut Patterson last summer.

In 17 games with the Jaguars last season, Patterson went 30 for 35 in field goals, with four of those misses coming from 40 yards or more.

At +145, Detroit is currently the favorite to win the NFC North, while the Jaguars are the favorites to win the AFC South at -160.

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